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Upon reaching Account Level 7, a player is granted the ability to assign a Commander to each ship. Commanders can learn a variety of useful skills that enhance the performance of the ship. Sometimes these are straight buffs to the vital statistics of a ship — such as faster turret traverse speed or more hit points — while others confer entirely new abilities or tools for the player to use in combat. A highly skilled commander is among the most powerful upgrades a ship can obtain in World of Warships, working together with installed upgrades, chosen consumables, and equipped signals to enhance the performance and capabilities of the ship.


The Commander recruitment window.


Once Account Level 7 is unlocked, a ship may not be queued for battle without a commander assigned to it. Thereafter, a commander can be recruited for a ship without one.[1] There are several options offered when recruiting a new commander:

  • Send to a Senior Commanders Course for 25 Doubloons to earn three (3) skill points.
  • Send to the Naval Academy for 7,500Credits to earn one (1) skill point.
  • Be content with Basic Training at no cost for zero (0) skill points.
  • Clicking the small, circular icon below the commander's name (middle left) in the recruitment window generates a new name and portrait for the commander. This can be repeated until the player is satisfied with the combination.

Recruiting is not the only way to obtain commanders. Certain missions, campaigns, and Scenarios award commanders. Experienced commanders can be bought in the Arsenal for Coal or Doubloons, or from the Premium Shop for real money. Awarded ships and some purchased ship bundles include experienced commanders.

When a ship is purchased from the tech tree, it can be with a newly recruited commander or without one. The latter option is useful when you intend to assign a commander from Reserve or another ship.

Managing Commanders

Clicking on the Commander portrait in the top right of the Port screen brings up the Commander interface. This screen allows players to manage their Commanders in various ways.

The Commander Interface: current skills (Red 1), redistribution (Orange 2), reserve Commanders (Green 3), current Commander (Blue 4), and Elite Commander experience (Purple 5).

The currently selected Commander is shown in the top right; the Commander skills trained are shown in the center. The drop down menu next to the Commander's name allows players to assign the Commander to another ship, send him to Reserve, dismiss him, or Go to their Personal File. Directly below the currently selected Commander is shown other Commanders that are eligible for use on the selected ship. The toggle at the top shows either commanders currently assigned to other ships, or those that are in Reserve.

The center of the Commander Interface displays the Commander skill tree — discussed in detail below — with currently trained skills highlighted. At the far left is the Redistribute function, that allows players to "respec" their Commanders by clearing their skill selections, thus allowing skill points to be assigned again.

Commander Skill Progression
Skill Points Total Commander XP Required XP Required for Next Level
0 0 1,500
1 1,500 2,500
2 4,000 4,000
3 8,000 6,000
4 14,000 9,000
5 23,000 14,000
6 37,000 21,000
7 58,000 30,000
8 88,000 41,000
9 129,000 54,000
10 183,000 69,000
11 252,000 87,000
12 339,000 108,000
13 447,000 132,000
14 579,000 159,000
15 738,000 189,000
16 927,000 222,000
17 1,149,000 259,000
18 1,408,000 300,000
19 1,708,000

Commander Skill Points

The crux of the Commander system — and the main portion of the Commander interface — revolves around the various skills available to train. Players accomplish this by earning Commander experience, then spending that experience on Commander skills.

Commanders who have available skill points to spend will show unspent points in the Port screen.

Earning Commander Experience

Commanders earn commander experience (CXP) in the same way that ships do, including any bonuses to ship XP Ship XP earnings. Additional bonuses that affect only commander XP — such as from Restless Fire -3% to surface detectability range. / 4% to maximum dispersion of shells fired by the enemy at your ship. / +250% Commander experience earned in the battle. camo or the Zulu Hotel +50% Commander XP earned for the battle. signal — are added on top of this number. Therefore, it is possible to earn considerably more commander XP in a match than ship XP. See the Economics article for details of how CXP is calculated. Players can view how much commander XP they earned in a given match on the 'Credits and XP' tab of the post-battle report.

The table at right shows the experience requirements for a Commander to buy skill points.

Example Commander Experience Calculation

A player with a WG Premium account earns 2,233 base experience in a game. He has Zulu Hotel +50% Commander XP earned for the battle. and Equal Speed Charlie London +50% XP earned for the battle. signals mounted, and has hoisted the Military Month Contributor PCEE025_Military_Month_Contributor_Flag.png flag over his ship (the MMC flag grants both ship XP and commander XP bonuses). He earns:

  • 2,233 + [2,233 x 0.5 (for Premium)] = 3,350 modified base experience
  • 3,350 + [3,350 x 0.5 (for Equal Speed Charlie London)] + [3,350 x 0.05 (for Military Month Contributor)] = 5,193 ship experience
  • 5,193 + [3,350 x 0.5 (for Zulu Hotel)] + [3,350 x 0.05 (for Military Month Contributor)] = 7,036 Commander experience
The skill confirmation window.

Spending Commander Experience

Each commander displays his skill points overlaid on his portrait as available/total. Thus a commander with 15 points, only 3 assigned, would show "12/15" on the lower left of his portrait. Clicking on the commander's portrait brings up the Commander Interface screen (see the graphic above), where a new skill may be selected. The interface will ask for confirmation.

Some skills are only useful to certain classes or to ships with certain weapon systems. Skills that are not useful to the current ship are marked as such. They may still be selected. (If a skill is not useful on the current ship, it may become so when the commander is moved to a different ship.) However, considering the amount of time it takes to train a highly skilled Commander, it is best to focus his skills on ones that are immediately useful. A complete list of skills, their point costs and effects, appears below.[2]

When training skills in Rows 2, 3 or 4, Commanders must have at least one skill trained from the previous row. Commanders are free to train any skill in a row before selecting any skill in the subsequent row; they are not confined to skills only within the sub-groupings shown below (and in the skill tree in the Commander interface).

Table of Commander Skills

Commander Skill Retraining
Skill Points XP Required to Retrain
0 0
1 1,000
2 1,500
3 2,000
4 3,500
5 5,000
6 7,500
7 10,000
8 15,000
9 20,000
10 25,000
11 30,000
12 40,000
13 50,000
14 75,000
15 100,000
16 125,000
17 150,000
18 175,000
19 250,000

Redistribute Commander Skills

Players will sometimes want to change the skill selections on one of their Commanders. This is accomplished in the Commander Interface by utilizing the "Redistribute" button (shown highlighted in orange on the graphic above). Redistributing Commander skill points costs either 25 Doubloons or 10,000 Elite Commander XP Elite Commander XP per spent skill point; players are not charged to redistribute unspent skill points. Upon confirming the redistribution, all currently trained Commander skills are cleared, the corresponding skill points are refunded, and players may begin assigning those skill points again as they see fit.

Note that when using Elite Commander XP Elite Commander XP, up to level 7 it is cheaper to recruit a new commander and accelerate their training than to redistribute skills of an existing commander. This will also result in two commanders instead of one.

On occasion — such as Christmas or other holidays — Wargaming offers sales on redistribution. Clan Battle participants have been enjoying one week of free redistribution at the beginning and at the end of Clan Battle seasons.

Reserve Slots

Reserve slots — (shown highlighted in green on the graphic above) — hold unassigned commanders. Commanders in the Reserve can be assigned to any ship (of the same nation) as normal, subject to re-training costs (see below).

Each player starts with four (4) Reserve slots. Additional Reserve slots can be purchased with doubloons -- normally four (4) slots for 100 Doubloons. Slots are very rarely available though other means.

Retraining Commanders

Once trained to a non-premium ship from the tech tree, a Commander's skills can be fully utilized only on that ship. Transferring to a new tech tree ship requires the commander to re-training to that ship, which is usually accomplished by earning a certain amount of Commander XP in his new ship (see the table to the right). Normal commander training resumes once re-training has been accomplished.

When re-training is required, players are offered several options. Commanders can spend:

  • 500 Doubloons, completing re-training instantly.
  • 200,000Credits, requiring them to earn 1/2 the Commander XP normally required (see table) to completely re-train (or spend the full amount of doubloons).
  • nothing, requiring them to earn Commander XP in order to fully re-train for their new ships.

Commanders can also spend Elite Commander XP Elite Commander XP (and/or Free XP) equal to the remaining cost of re-training, finishing re-training instantly. This can be combined with the 200,000Credits option in order to save ECXP.

Remember that while a Commander is re-training, skill effects are reduced by 50% and skills with a binary (on or off) effect are disabled.

Premium Ships

A commander can be assigned to a premium ship of the same nation at any time without undergoing re-training. His skills will continue to work at full strength on the premium ship. Commander XP earned while assigned to a premium ship counts toward re-training on his specialized ship. This makes premium ships a great way to re-train commanders while avoiding retraining penalties. The commander can be moved back to his specialized ship without penalty.

Elite Commander Experience

A commander who earns nineteen (19) Skill Points becomes an Elite Commander. Elite Commanders continue to earn experience as do lower-ranked commanders. However, an Elite Commander no longer accumulates CXP; his experience is earned as Elite Commander Experience Elite Commander XP (ECXP) that accumulates in a common pool (like Free XP). (The current ECXP balance is shown highlighted in purple on the graphic above).

The Accelerated Training window.

As Free XP is available to all ships, Elite Commander XP Elite Commander XP is available to all commanders on a player account.

Using Elite Commander XP

Elite Commander XP Elite Commander XP can be:

  • Applied to any non-elite commander to gain additional skill points.
  • Used to retrain any commander moved to a different, non-premium ship (instead of spending doubloons).
  • Used to redistribute skill points (in lieu of using doubloons).
  • Converted into Free XP Free XP for doubloons Doubloons.

Spending Free XP on Commanders

After all ECXP is spent, Free XP Free XP can be used instead of Elite Commander XP Elite Commander XP.[4]

For a single operation, Elite Commander XP Elite Commander XP and Free XP Free XP can be spent together, just as Ship XP and Free XP can be spent together researching ships and ship modules. When Elite Commander XP and Free XP are spent, the following rules apply:

  • To retrain a commander, promote him to a new rank, or redistribute his skill points, the available ECXP and/or FXP must be sufficient to fully complete the operation (no partial operations).
  • When an operation can be completed, Elite Commander XP is spent first then Free XP is used only if there is not enough ECXP.

Example using both Elite Commander XP and Free XP

A commander with 7 Skill Points and 100 CXP is assigned to a non-premium ship for which he is not trained. 10,000 XP is required to fully re-train him. The player decides to accelerate re-training by 50%, spending 200,000 CreditsCredits. Consequently, 5000 more XP is required to finish re-training. 8000 Elite Commander XP Elite Commander XP is available. The player completes re-training by spending 5000 ECXP. 3000 ECXP remains. (Note that CXP cannot be spent for re-training.)

Now the player chooses to promote this commander to the maximum attainable rank using all types of XP. He has 100 CXP, 3000 ECXP, and 40,000 Free XP.

The cost of the next commander rank (8) is 30,000 XP. To reach it, he spends 100 CXP, 3000 ECXP, and 26,900 Free XP (total 30,000). To reach the next rank (9), 41,000 XP is required. Since he has no CXP or ECXP and only 13,100 Free XP remaining, he cannot promote this commander to rank (9).

Converting Elite Commander XP to Free XP

Elite Commander XP can be converted to Free XP in the same way as Elite (ship) XP — ( 25 ECXP Elite Commander XP + 1 Doubloons => 25 Free XP Free XP ). Free XP cannot be converted to Elite Commander XP.

Unique Commanders

Some commanders have unique talents or modified commander skills. Check out the list of unique commanders to learn more.

Commander Ranks

As a Commander gains levels, they are given ranks based on their nation. These roughly correspond to the historical ranks awarded to officers of their nation's respective navies. The table below lists these ranks as they appear in game.

Skill Points Wows_flag_USA.png
Великобритания_флаг_ВМС_с_тенью.png Содружество_Наций_флаг_ВМС_с_тенью.png
UK &
0 Warrant Officer Kaigun Shōi Kōhosei Michman Warrant Officer Oberfähnrich zur See Aspirant Aspirante Guardiamarina Chorąży marynarki Midshipman
1 - 2 Lieutenant Junior Grade Kaigun Shōi Leytenant Sub-Lieutenant Leutnant zur See Enseigne de deuxième classe Guardiamarina Podporucznik marynarki Sub-Lieutenant
3 - 4 Lieutenant Kaigun Chūi Starshiy-Leytenant Lieutenant Oberleutnant zur See Enseigne de première classe Sottotenente di Vascello Porucznik marynarki Lieutenant
5 - 6 Lieutenant Commander Kaigun Daii Kapitan-Leytenant Lieutenant Commander Kapitänleutnant Lieutenant de vaisseau Tenente di Vascello Kapitan marynarki Lieutenant Commander
7 - 8 Commander Kaigun Shōsa Kapitan 3 Ranga Commander Korvettenkapitän Capitaine de corvette Capitano di Corvetta Komandor podporucznik Commander
9 - 10 Captain Kaigun Chūsa Kapitan 2 Ranga Captain Fregattenkapitän Capitaine de frégate Capitano di Fregata Komandor porucznik Captain
11 - 12 Commodore Kaigun Daisa Kapitan 1 Ranga Commodore Kapitän zur See Capitaine de vaisseau Capitano di Vascello Komandor Commodore
13 - 14 Rear Admiral Kaigun Shōshō Kontr-Admiral Rear Admiral Konteradmiral Contre-amiral Contrammiraglio Kontradmirał Rear Admiral
15 - 16 Vice Admiral Kaigun Chūjo Vitse-Admiral Vice Admiral Vizeadmiral Vice-amiral Ammiraglio di Divisione Wiceadmirał Vice Admiral
17 - 18 Admiral Kaigun Taishō Admiral Admiral Admiral Vice-amiral d'escadre Ammiraglio Admirał floty Admiral
19 Fleet Admiral Gensui Kaigun Taishō Admiral flota Admiral of the Fleet Großadmiral Amiral Ammiraglio di Armata Admirał Admiral of the Fleet


  1. To recruit a commander to Reserve, temporarily move the commander of a ship to reserve, recruit a new commander, then swap back.
  2. With Update 0.8.0, a number of skills have changed. See this and nearby WoWS News articles: https://worldofwarships.com/en/news/development/cv8-how-to-tune/#customization
  3. With Update 0.8.2 this skill does function on aircraft squadrons.
  4. Free XP becomes available at Account Level 5. Commander operations and ECXP become available at Account Level 7. Since at that point the account will have no ECXP, accumulated FXP may be used in its place.